And then there were 211. The Washington Post reports that four Club Gitmo graduates have been shipped out today.
One was Saber Lahmar who is a Bosnian resident and was transferred to France. Mr. Lahmar will be given a chance "to rebuild his life" in France.
He was arrested in 2002 in Sarajevo, along with four others, in connection with a plot to blow up the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo. That allegation was later withdrawn but he, along with his compatriots, was then held on suspicion that he planned to travel to Afghanistan to attack U.S. forces. He was associated with a known al Qaeda facilitator who was known to have a direct link with bin Laden.
In April of this year, Thomas Joscelyn wrote of Lahmar,
In my opinion, the court’s ruling with respect to Sabir Mahfouz Lahmar, one of the five the court said should be released, was erroneous and ignored many facts about Lahmar’s past. Lahmar was clearly part of the al Qaeda network in Bosnia in the 1990’s. Lahmar was listed as one of the most wanted criminals in Bosnia at one point and was charged with involvement in various criminal and terrorist acts, including a car bombing in Mostar. He was only freed as part of a general amnesty deal the Bosnian government, which was then incredibly duplicitous in its dealings, cut with “Mujahidin” such as Lahmar.
Two Tunisians, Adel Ben Mabrouk, 39, and Mohamed Ben Riadh Nasri, 43, were transferred to Italy where they will be tried on terrorism charges. Italy had arrest warrants out on them already for various charges.
Another went to Hungary. He is Palestinian but his name has not been released.
So, we're down to 211. The main problem seems to be the Yemini detainees. And on that front, Thomson prison in Illinois is still a possibility. The Hill reports tonight that "Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) will host a closed-door briefing with his state’s congressional delegation on Wednesday about sending Guantanamo detainees to an Illinois prison."
All of this so that the world will like us better for closing Gitmo. How silly. We're going to shut down a perfectly functional, well-run, expensively retrofitted facility because "the world" doesn't like it. Because Thomson Correctional won't be Gitmo. It'll be a prison and the detainees will be worse off than they are in Cuba, but they won't be in Gitmo. Ridiculous.
(Photo Credit: U.S. Army 1st Lt. Sarah Cleveland)